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The Rhyme Maker
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Theme:  Tributes and Toasts

According to Bowring (translator), this poem was written on the occasion of a "going-away" party for a prince of Germany, who is present at the festivities (third verse).
- S. H. Bass  

more Goethe at

After-Sensations (Bowring)
The Harper's Songs (Carlyle)  
His Comrade (Bowring)
Wont And Done (Bowring)

Stop Button Clutter!

The Poems of Goethe (1874)

from Project Gutenberg

Table Song
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet
translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring (1825-1911), British writer

O'er me – how I cannot say, –
Heav'nly rapture's
Will it help to guide my way
To yon stars all-glowing?
Yet that here I'd sooner be,
To assert I'm able,
Where, with wine and harmony,
I may thump the table.

Wonder not, my dearest friends,
What 'tis gives me pleasure;
For of all that earth e'er lends,
'Tis the sweetest treasure.
Therefore solemnly I swear,
With no reservation,
That maliciously I'll ne'er
Leave my present station.

Now that here we're gather'd round,
Chasing cares and slumbers,
Let, methought, the goblet sound
To the bard's glad numbers!
Many a hundred mile away,
Go those we love dearly;
Therefore let us here to-day
Make the glass ring clearly!

Here's His health, through Whom we live!
I that faith inherit.
To our king the next toast give,
Honor is his merit,
'Gainst each in – and outward foe
He's our rock and tower.
Of his maintenance thinks he though,
More that grows his power.

Next to her good health I drink,
Who has stirr'd my passion;
Of his mistress let each think,
Think in knightly fashion.
If the beauteous maid but see
Whom 'tis I now call so,
Let her smiling nod to me:
"Here's my love's health also!"

To those friends, – the two or three, –
Be our next toast given,
In whose presence revel we,
In the silent even, –
Who the gloomy mist so cold
Scatter gently, lightly;
To those friends, then, new or old,
Let the toast ring brightly.

Broader now the stream rolls on,
With its waves more swelling,
While in higher, nobler tone,
Comrades, we are dwelling, –
We who with collected might,
Bravely cling together,
Both in fortune's sunshine bright,
And in stormy weather.

Just as we are gather'd thus,
Others are collected;
On them, therefore, as on us,
Be Fate's smile directed!
From the springhead to the sea,
Many a mill's revolving,
And the world's prosperity
Is the task I'm solving.

from The Poems of Goethe (1874)

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